Reality Check: Why the Occupy movement is not like the Civil Rights movement

Published: Nov. 17, 2011 at 3:19 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2011 at 11:16 AM EST
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(FOX19) - The Reverend Jesse Jackson has spent the last two days here in Cincinnati, giving his support to the Occupy movement.

In fact, Jackson says that the occupy movement is equal to the civil rights movement of the 1960's.

But is that really an equal comparison?

"We stand in the great tradition of Dr King's quest for justice. In January 1968 he organized an occupation movement to achieve the right to vote.  There was too much wealth in too few hands. Too much poverty. Too much war." Jackson told Occupy Cincinnati protestors on Wednesday.

That statement from an historical perspective is not entirely accurate.

Dr. King's fight was for racial equality and the right to vote.  While he did have strong feelings about poverty and war, his tactics were very different than what we are seeing in Occupy today.

Rev. Jackson himself is coming under fire for these comparisons.  The niece of Martin Luther King Jr., Alveda King says that these two movements are drastically different in the way they are playing out.

"The whole movement was founded in prayer and in crying out to god in a peaceful movement and this movement is not peaceful.  Rev. Jackson knows that this is not the model that my uncle and my father A.D. King upheld.  He knows that." said King in an interview with Fox News.

That is true.

Martin Luther King Jr. insisted on non-violence.

But consider what we are seeing daily from Occupy.

There have been at least 6 reports of sexual assaults at various camps.

In New York, a man was arrested for assaulting a paramedic and breaking his leg.

In San Diego, street cart vendors were forced to close up shop when protesters, angry that they stopped receiving free food, ransacked and vandalized the carts.  The angry mob not only scrawled graffiti on the carts, they reportedly splattered them with blood and urine as well.

A man was walking through Zuccotti Park, New York taking pictures of the Occupiers' camp when an unidentified man approached him and struck him in the face, leaving his victim with a laceration to the face.

In Boston, homeless protesters were removed from Dewey square after they were discovered to have knives and stashes of illegal drugs.

In Portland, cops responded to calls of a molotov cocktail being set off near the city's World Trade Center.

That, along with the defecation in the streets and on police cars.

The leaders of the Civil Rights movement however, chose the tactic of non-violence as a tool to dismantle institutionalized racial segregation, discrimination, and inequality.

In 1955, Reverend George Lee, an NAACP worker, was shot in the face and killed for urging blacks in the Mississippi Delta to vote.

1963, the bombing at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, was one of the most abhorrent crimes of the civil rights movement.  Four young girls between 11 and 14 years old, attending Sunday school were killed when a bomb exploded at the church.  Twenty others were injured.

In addition to these murders, violence persisted through mass arrests, jail beatings, lynchings, and other church bombings.

What you need to know, is what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Junior himself wrote May 4, 1966.

"If one is in search of a better job, it does not help to burn down the factory. If one needs more adequate education, shooting the principal will not help, or if housing is the goal, only building and construction will produce that end. To destroy anything, person or property, can't bring us closer to the goal that we seek."-Dr. King

And that is Reality Check.

Read all of "Non-violence, The Only Road to Freedom"  here:

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